Sheep Dog in Action

Soldier Hollow Sheep Dog, originally uploaded by tomkellyphoto.

The first time we went to the Soldier Hollow Classic years ago we had no idea what to expect. Sure, we had seen Babe. But this was the real deal. The intelligence of the border collies is mind boggling.

If you haven’t seen a sheep dog event, it goes like this. A border collie starts at the bottom of the hill, running up to greet five sheep. The sheep dog then leads the five sheep through a series of gates – in sequential order – before ultimately splitting the group into two (three and two), bringing them back together and into a pen. Whew, can’t imagine doing that myself.

In this photograph, the border collie has his sheep on the run, heading for the next gate near the bottom of the course, all in near perfect unison.

It’s a fun event to photograph. This image was made with a Nikon D300 using a 70-300mm lens. It’s part of an exciting sequence with the sheep dog hot in pursuit of a record time.